OBJECTIVE: DACH1 is a transcriptional repressor and tumor suppressor gene frequently mutated in melanoma, bladder, and prostate cancer. Loss of DACH1 expression is associated with poor prognostic features and reduced overall survival in uterine cancer. In this study, we utilized the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (ORIEN) Avatar database to determine the frequency of DACH1 mutations in patients with endometrial cancer in our Kentucky population.

METHODS: We obtained clinical and genomic data for 65 patients with endometrial cancer from the Markey Cancer Center (MCC). We examined the clinical attributes of the cancers by DACH1 status by comparing whole-exome sequencing (WES), RNA Sequencing (RNASeq), microsatellite instability (MSI), and tumor mutational burden (TMB).

RESULTS: Kentucky women with endometrial cancer had an increased frequency of DACH1 mutations (12/65 patients, 18.5%) compared to The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) endometrial cancer population (25/586 patients, 3.8%) with p-value = 1.04E-05. DACH1 mutations were associated with increased tumor mutation count in both TCGA (median 65 vs. 8972, p-value = 7.35E-09) and our Kentucky population (490 vs. 2160, p-value = 6.0E-04). DACH1 mutated patients have a higher tumor mutation burden compared to DACH1 wild-type (24 vs. 6.02, p-value = 4.29E-05). DACH1 mutations showed significant gene co-occurrence patterns with POLE, MLH1, and PMS2. DACH1 mutations were not associated with an increase in microsatellite instability at MCC (MSI-H) (p-value = 0.1342).

CONCLUSIONS: DACH1 mutations are prevalent in Kentucky patients with endometrial cancer. These mutations are associated with high tumor mutational burden and co-occur with genome destabilizing gene mutations. These findings suggest DACH1 may be a candidate biomarker for future trials with immunotherapy, particularly in endometrial cancers.

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Published in PLOS ONE, v. 15, issue 12, e0244558.

This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.

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Funding for this project was received by the NCI Cancer Center Support Grant (P30 CA177558).

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Raw data cannot be shared because they are both potentially identifying and contain sensitive patient data, including geographic location, dates of diagnosis and dates of testing and receiving a medication. In addition, there are contractual agreements between the University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Cancer Registry precluding data sharing. Any requests for data must be submitted to: Jacyln K. McDowell, Epidemiologist, Kentucky Cancer Registry 2365 Harrodsburg Rd, Suite A230 Lexington, KY 40504 859-218-2228 Jaclyn.mcdowell@uky.edu.

pone.0244558.s001.pdf (146 kB)
S1 File. Detailed bioinformatics pipeline document describing the methods used by M2Gen. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0244558.s001